Mangaluru, Apr 09, 2018: Every election season, the Congress in Dakshina Kannada has been facing the common problem of selecting a candidate and also convincing those who fail to get the ticket.
This time, Congress seems to be on safer grounds. The candidates for the eight constituencies have been already selected, although their names are yet to be announced officially.
The BJP, on the other hand, seems to have problems selecting the candidates. If sources are to be believed, there are at least three aspirants in seven constituencies – except Sullia. Worse, not even the top BJP leaders in the district seem to have a clue as to who would be the official candidates.
In Mangaluru South, the name of Vedavyas Kamath is making rounds while industrialist Badrinath Kamath, Capt Brijesh Chowta and VHP leader M B Puranik are also ticket aspirants to contest with the BJP ticket against J R Lobo of the Congress. Lobo is a bureaucrat turned politician. With former BJP leader Srikar Prabhu planning to contest as an Independent candidate, the BJP’s woes are rising in the city.
Similarly, in Mangaluru North, there are three BJP aspirants, including former minister Krishna J Palemar, Dr Bharath Shetty and Satyajit Surathkal, to contest against Mohiyuddin Bawa. According to a source, attempts are being made to convince Satyajit to contest from Mangaluru against U T Khader. But knowing very well that it is almost a Herculean task to defeat the mighty Khader in Ullal (Mangaluru), no one wants to take the risk.
Boliyar Santhosh Kumar Shetty and Chandrahas Ucchil, who lost twice against Khader, however, are the BJP ticket aspirants in Mangaluru constituency.
In Moodbidri, Umanath Kotian is said to be the forerunner, but Eshwar Kateel and Dr Sudheer Hegde are also said to be lobbying for the ticket. Although Ivan D’Souza and Mithun Rai’s names were making the rounds, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s announcement (during his visit to Moodbidri) that Abhaychandra Jain would contest, has put an end to any speculation in the Congress.
In Bantwal, Rajesh Nayak, who lost to the mighty Ramanath Rai last time, is all set to contest against Rai again. However, two-time MLA Rukmaiah Poojary and former minister B Nagaraj Shetty too are hoping to get the tickets.